Copenhagen Sights

Be it sea or canal, water surrounds Copenhagen. A network of bridges and drawbridges connects the two main islands—Zealand and Amager—on which Copenhagen is built. The seafaring atmosphere is indelible, especially around the districts of Nyhavn and Christianshavn.

Copenhagen is small, with most sights within 2½ square km (1 square mile) of its center. Sightseeing, especially downtown,

is best done on foot at an unhurried pace. Or follow the example of the Danes and rent a bike. That said, excellent bus and train systems can come to the rescue of weary legs.

With just one day in Copenhagen, start at Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn and head up the pedestrian street of Strøget in the direction of Rådhuspladsen. You can detour to see the exteriors of Christiansborg, Børsen, Rundetårn, and Rosenborg Slot along the way. If you're not up for a walk, one of the guided canal tours will give you a good sense of the city. In summer or around Christmas time, round off your day with a relaxed stroll and nightcap in Tivoli. With additional days in Copenhagen, plan to spend time inside one or more of the following: Rosenborg Slot, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Nationalmuseet, Statens Museum for Kunst, and Kastellet. Alternatively, make your way toward one of the surrounding neighborhoods: Christianshavn for small café-lined canals; Christiania for hippie and alternative culture past and present; or Nørrebro and Vesterbro for a mixture of ethnic shops and trendy youth culture. Noteworthy side trips for longer stays include the expansive park of Dyrehaven in Charlottenlund, the Lilliputian village of Dragør, the historic castle in Hillerød, the modern art museum Louisiana in Humlebæk, Hamlet's castle in Helsingør, and the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde.

Some Copenhagen sights, especially churches, keep short hours, particularly in fall and winter. It's a good idea to call ahead or check with the tourist offices to confirm opening times.

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A mounted statue of Christian V dominates King's New Square. Crafted in 1688 by the French sculptor Lamoureux, the subject is conspicuously...